Abstract

Gestalt therapy has recently undergone a relational turn, placing greater emphasis on relationality. Many authors have discussed the theoretical underpinnings of this turn; however, there are no qualitative accounts of what relationality looks like from the perspective of the client, and how clients derive meaning from this experience. Thus, the current study aims to explore the phenomenological experience of relationality in the context of gestalt therapy. Eight interviews were conducted with individuals who had participated in at least fifty sessions of therapy with a gestalt therapist. Interviews were analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results indicated three main themes describing relationality, including, embodiment, the “in-between” space, and the development of awareness. If the current study provides a sense of what the client experiences within relationality, it also indicates that awareness develops through increased relationality, thus reflecting the importance of the relational turn.

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